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Published on Apr 21, 2008
Over the next few decades, the developed world will age and weaken. Meanwhile, demographic trends in the developing world-from resurgent youth booms in the Islamic Belt to premature aging in China and population implosion in Russia-will give rise to daunting new security threats. While some argue that "global aging" is pushing the world toward greater peace and prosperity, a crisis looms in the 2020s. The risks of both chaotic state collapse and neo-authoritarian reaction are rising. Neither the triumph of democratic capitalism nor a "geriatric peace" are the most likely outcomes. The demographic trends of the 21st century will challenge the geopolitical idealism of both the right and the left.
In a wide-ranging analysis of the dynamics of population and power, Richard Jackson and Neil Howe lay out a provocative new interpretation of how demography is reshaping the geopolitical landscape and redefining tomorrow's foreign-policy challenges.